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Cox Is Out at CPB; Ferree Interim Head

Cox Is Out at CPB; Ferree Interim Head

Corporation for Public Broadcasting President/CEO Kathleen Cox has resigned after only about nine months in the position. While Cox had a one-year contract, she been CPB president since July 1 of last year.
Ken Ferree, former chief of the FCC’s Media Bureau and newly-named CPB executive vice president and COO, will serve as acting president while the CPB board searches for a successor.
In a statement, Cox and CPB Board Chair Ken Tomlinson said Cox was stepping down now because a major study she was overseeing regarding donations and audience appeal was completed and they believe “that the time is right for new executive leadership at CPB.”
One observer, in a story in the Washington Post about the resignation, described Cox as “basically an apolitical bureaucrat in an incredibly polarized agency.”
The Post also quoted the president of Common Cause saying the choice of Ferree raised concerns because “as Michael Powell’s chief of the FCC’s media bureau, Mr. Ferree seemed to be dismissive of the public interest obligations of broadcasters.”
The announcement came days after CPB appointed two ombudsmen to critique programming.
Congress created CPB to grant federal money to public radio and TV and to act as a buffer between the two groups.
Cox had been executive VP and chief operating officer since January 2002 and originally joined CPB in 1997 as associate general counsel.